Father of Three Shot, Killed Near Checkers in Miami Gardens: Police

Police are searching for clues after a young father of three was shot and killed outside a Checkers fast food restaurant in Miami Gardens overnight Wednesday.

Police say Mark Constantine was visiting a friend who worked at the Checkers restaurant near 181st Street and Northwest Second Avenue around 2 a.m. Wednesday. Police say an argument broke out and began to escalate. Constantine got into his car to drive away and shots were fired.

Employees at the restaurant hit a panic button, but by the time police arrived on the scene, officers pronounced Constantine dead at the scene.

Police are speaking with Checkers employees as they investigate what led to the shooting.

Police cordoned off a section of the street next to a black car with the driver's side door left wide open. Traffic to the area was closed down for much of the morning as police carried out their initial investigation.

As detectives worked the scene, a small crowd of 40 or so family members and friends descended on the crime scene. It's clear while Constantine, a music producer and a father of a young son and twin girls, may have had few enemies, he had many friends.

"I love him," friend Lady Cash told NBC 6 South Florida. "I seen him three days ago and I shook his hands. I woke up this morning like man, I should have gave him a hug because if I knew this would happen, I would've definitely gave him a hug because I'm not going to see him again."

"He was a good guy, respectable," added friend Mike Miller. "Humble, do a lot for everybody. It's sad that this had to happen to him. I just pray they get whoever did it."

Flowers laid at the scene, a tribute to their friend, lost to the streets. It's a duplication of gun violence Mark recently experienced.

"He just lost his close friend three months ago which is my cousin and the godfather of his son, to street violence as well," said Mike Miller. "And to come out here again to see this, he lost his life to street violence is crazy".

Late in the afternoon, detectives were back at the scene working with employees and retrieving surveillance video from the drive through, which could be key into summing up the investigation.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS.

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